Wednesday, August 3, 2011
On August 5th and 6th of this week, National NASW is holding its triennial Delegate Assembly event where over 200 elected NASW member delegated come together to address many of the policy issues that the Association is known for dealing with. This is the second time that Delegate Assembly will be held ‘virtually’ rather than in person in Washington , D.C. has it had been held for the last 30 years or so. The decision to go ‘virtual’ was made in light of the huge expense involved in bringing 200 delegates into Washington for a multi-day event and in light of the growing movement of governance of National Associations being held electronically.
Lots of people were disappointed that the event had changed its venue. They missed the camaraderie and face to face deliberations that occurred when we all met in one huge ballroom and the roll call was shouted out from each State Delegation with the Presidents of all 55 chapters identifying the distinctive characteristics of that state. The Presiding Officer of the Assembly, three years ago and again, this year, our own Mr. Gary Bailey, current President of the International Federation of Social Workers, former President of National NASW and the MA Chapter of NASW, will call the Assembly together and then start the roll call. He will call “The Massachusetts Chapter” and our Chapter President, Dr. Betty Morningstar, will announce “From the Great State of Massachusetts, Home of Red Sox Nation, the 2011 winners of the Stanley Cup in Ice Hockey, the Boston Bruins, and a number of ‘Firsts’ like, the first public high school in the United States-Boston Latin, the first University-Harvard, the first Public Library” we stand ready to serve the goals of the National Association of Social Workers.” There is a lot of hoopla, applause and sometimes some jeering from the peanut gallery. It is lots of fun before we get down to the business of revising, creating and discussing public policy statements that affect the clients and communities that we serve.
This year one of the hot topics will be the wisdom of continuing the current structure of the Delegate Assembly. Some think it is outdated. Some question having two bodies-the elected Board of Directors of National NASW and the elected Delegates to the Assembly- decide on policy. You will be hearing more of this after the two day event is over, as I believe, this will be one of the hot topics between now and the next Delegate Assembly in three years. Members of NASW will be able to give their input on the subject. It has to do with Governance and how we as a professional association do business. You will be encouraged to give your input. You will certainly be heard!
Carol J. Trust